User-Generated Content

Video competition inspires young people to create anti-drug PSAs

Program led to 300 submissions from across the country.

Operation Prevention- Logo

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Discovery Education launched “Operation Prevention” to educate K-12 students about the consequences of opioid misuse and heroin use. A video competition that produced 300 entries in 2019—and powerful new content for the team to use—has won first place in the “User-Generated Content” category of PR Daily’s Content Marketing Awards.

The program provides free, standards-aligned content available to students across the U.S. that teaches students the science of addiction. The goal is to kick-start conversations in the home and the classroom. Knowing social media is vital to reaching the young adults disproportionately affected by the opioid crisis, the DEA and Discovery Education employed it to reach the audience.

The competition, the Operation Prevention Student Video Challenge, invited teens to create a unique public service announcement (PSA) designed to reach their peers. The challenge encouraged students to find a message that would resonate with their peers, asking students to bring their unique perspective to answer the question, “If your friends—and teens throughout the United States—were going to watch ONE video that made them think twice about making bad decisions with prescription opioids, what would that video be?”

Prizes included scholarships and a two-day trip to Washington, D.C., including a day at the DEA’s training academy in Quantico, Virginia. The winning video, “What Could’ve Been,” demonstrates how a teenager’s opioid addition shortens his or her life, cutting teens off from all the events that might have occurred as they grow older. The video has earned 1.2 million impressions and 30 media pickups.

Congratulations to Lori McFarling, Helena Poda, Lauren DeNu, Sumner Byrne, Andrew Izkowitz, Charmion Kinder, Brianna Burnette, Sean Fearns, Cathleen Drew, Tammy Lomax Simpson and Katherine Pfaff.

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